Reviews (257)
Photos (2335)
Recordings (236)
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
Rock climbingIcy
First to Review

There are six huts with campsites available on the Round the Mountain Track: Waihohonu, Rangipo, Mangaehuehu, Blyth, Mangaturuturu and Whakapapaiti.

Ashley Flavell reviewed Lake Rotopounamu Loop
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cute walk. good in winter. such a beauty

Kat Glass reviewed Lake Rotopounamu Loop
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Hiking

Beautiful loop track around the lake. Easy flat walking after a short moderate slope to kick off your walk. Perfect in mid winter but would be a great visit in summer too.

Jonathan Lescheid reviewed Lake Rotopounamu Loop
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Hiking

Nice easy trail, with swimming in the lake from both ends and beautiful views. Somewhat underemphasized here is the fact that the lake is about 1KM uphill off the road (no boating unless you’re up for a large portage) and pit toilets are only at Long Beach, which is at least 40 minutes walking from car park.

Stefan Macfie reviewed Tongariro Northern Circuit
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 25, 2020
Hiking

I have done this loop a few times and it is my favorite part of the world by far - I have done it both in training and for enjoyment. Have always started and finished at Iwikau/Whakapapa Village (42km). Have done it in anticlockwise in one day with a very early start and late finish and running where I could - my only advice is DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO IT IN A DAY!!! This is an alpine environment and extremely changeable - if done anticlockwise the climb from Emerald Lakes to the track summit and descent into Tongariro Crater plateau is very challenging and can be dangerous. Then the stretch from Mangetepopo to Chateau is always exposed, the track usually has ice in it and can be slow going. Likewise if you do it ‘clockwise’ in the afternoon the piece from Waihohonu to Chateau is straight into the setting sun and can have a VERY strong headwind. My advice - take at least 2 days maybe 3. Start and finish at Iwikau Village - otherwise the climb up from Ketetahi is super long and relentless and you can’t stay at Ketetahi Hut - and parking is safer and better at Iwikau. If you do it over 3 days you can side trip to Tama Lakes and summit Ngaruhoe without putting yourself under undue pressure. Do not underestimate how difficult this can be - the maunga is beautiful but it takes its share of lives every year. Enjoy :)

Steph Bunker reviewed Tongariro Northern Circuit
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HikingBugsNo shadeRockyScramble

I did this circuit back in January. I did it anti-clockwise and in 3 days. Day 1 from Whakapapa Village to Waihohonu Hut. Day 2 from Whakapapa to Mangatepopo Hut. Day 3 from Mangatepopo to Whakapapa. This is a challenging hike offering little to no shade. If I did this hike again, I would definitely go clockwise and stay the full 4 days to really be able to appreciate the scenery and have time for pretty waterfall side missions. Otherwise, it was a lovely hike and I met many wonderful people along the way!

David Platt reviewed Tongariro Northern Circuit
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 15, 2020
Backpacking

Did this in 3 full days: Day 1 Whakapana to Tama Lakes to Oturere (16.5 mi), Day 2 left the tent + gear at Oturere and did the Ketetahi spur (19 mi), and Day 3 did the Alpine Pass Okurere back to Whakapana (13 mi). When you start out, don't be discouraged by the manicured stairs / boardwalks the first few miles -- the rest of the hike gets plenty more challenging with scree fields, mud ditches, and lava flows that await you :) The individual landscapes you'll encounter -- alpine meadows, mountain lakes, and lava flows -- won't be the most beautiful you've ever encountered, but they're still top tier and what makes the hike so spectacular is how they're all right next to each other. It's really like having North Cascades, Rocky Mountains, and Haleakala all in one hike. You'll also enjoy different perspectives of Mount Ngauruhoe, the huge cone volcano you circle most of the hike ranging from glowing gold in the sunrise to towering over the clouds when they appear. If you can, try to plan your loop so your Alpine Crossing day is not on a Saturday/Sunday/Holiday -- this way you can avoid the biggest swarms of day hikers. If you do the route counterclockwise, you'll be going against the swarm, but your exposure will be short (only about 1.5-2 hours for me). If you go clockwise, you'll be going with the swarm but you'll rolling with them all day, and there are a number of bottlenecks to contend with. For side trips, I thought Tama Lakes were certainly worth the detour. Instead of turning back at the Upper Lake, you can follow the social trails and do a full loop around the lakes along the rim of the calderas (the path is actually on the Alltrails map). It's not too technical and I found the added challenge, solitude, and views very enjoyable. Only note is you'll have to do some minor bushwhacking the last 5 minutes to get back to the main trail. For the Ketetahi spur, you only need to go about halfway down to get a good feel for the meadows and hot spring. The bottom third is a forest and unless you're a Polynesian fern enthusiast, is not particularly noteworthy. Important detail: the Ketetahi spur is NOT a loop like the Alltrails map shows. What the route shows as the return leg has been closed for several years due to volcanic activity and is not maintained. If you go this return route you'll pass within 10 feet of active fumeroles and at one point have to jump across 2 ledges where the old bridge has fallen -- really not safe and better to return the same way you came. Long post but hope there's some useful info in it for your trip planning. Happy hiking!

Spectacular views!! Tongario track was well groomed and quite manageable. Mt. Ngauruhoe was two steps up, one step down. Lots of loose rock.

Cameron Mailer reviewed Ruapehu Crater Lake
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 28, 2020
HikingRockyScrambleSnow

Went up early March, rainy the whole day and seriously windy at top. We felt awesome at the top but was cold and couldn't see anything (50m). Hard scramble with those conditions, really reccomend going when good weather. With athletic level fitness got up in 3.25 hours got down to main gondola in 1. Took ride back down, (very wet).

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 25, 2020
HikingNo shade
First to Review

Well, have heard about this trail for a long time. Finally had the opportunity to do it. Perfect weather, sunny and no clouds. Didn’t seem all that crowded but maybe we anticipated much worse (like Hooker Valley). Without a doubt, the most diverse trail I’ve ever seen, both respect to terrain/views and technique. That being said, scree is not all that fun, but perfectly fine if you take your time. The nice surprise if the forested portion at the end. Wish we would have budgeted more time to take along that section, but we had a bus to catch. Great trail.

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Scott Jurd reviewed Tongariro Northern Circuit
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 19, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeRocky
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Arnaud Cismondi reviewed Tongariro Northern Circuit
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 9, 2020
HikingFeeNo shadeRocky
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Booy Rodermond reviewed Tongariro Northern Circuit
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 2, 2020
Hiking

Dag 1 van Tongariro Northern Circuit. Erg tof, mooie uitzichten op de vulkaan en de plek waar ooit lava uit de vulkaan kwam. Mooie bergmeertjes en maanachtige landschappen door vele vulkaanstenen overal en lavatongen.

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Ryan Maloney reviewed Tongariro Northern Circuit
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 12, 2019
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

If you hardly exercise and your day job is sitting in a cube staring in to a computer screen as if it was an abyss sucking your soul out of your eye sockets, you will probably be tempted by this trail, one of the great walks oohhh ahhh. you came to New Zealand for this. You may be suffering from a lack of sleep from jet lag and a migraine and sick with a chest cold that makes you want to spit out your lungs. You may be insufferably cheap and choose to tent camp slinging a 65 lb. pack with a camp stove, an iPad, and other non essentials instead of using the huts. You may cut your trek down to 3 days instead of 4 due to weather and it's just a few more kilometers for just one day. If so, you may be in a lot of pain towards the end and wonder if it was worth it. What makes that a great walk? Clever advertising, you got me. You feel ashamed of how pitiful you must have looked over the crossing and of how out of shape and fat you've let yourself become. However, you soon realize you've pushed yourself farther and harder than you thought you could. you feel a sense of accomplishment and wonder what you're really capable of. After a shower and a day to recover you become hungry for more. Although beautiful, this trail for a person like me, is more about overcoming than views. I've been on harder treks but because of lack of physical preparation and all the choices I made to make it harder, this was the hardest trek I've ever made.

Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 9, 2019
Hiking

An amazing hike, well worth it. There are a handful of very steep portions, but over all the hike is not too bad. It gets windy at the top so bring a wind breaker. I went at the beginning of December and a wind breaker was enough for me. There are bathrooms but no drinkable water on the trail.

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Marine Clavaud reviewed Tongariro Northern Circuit
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 6, 2019
Hiking

A faire absolument dans le sens inverse des aiguilles d une montre. Mieux en terme de dénivelé et surtout de monde. Tous les gens qui font la Alpine Crossing la font dans el sens normal!!

Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 5, 2019
HikingClosed

The peak was closed the day I visited due to sustained 70km/h winds with gusts up to 143km/h. So I decided to park at the start (4 hour maximum) and hike in-and-out. I did the same at the end. As a result, I was 8km short of hiking the trail in both directions and saw nearly everything I wanted to twice. The trail is very diverse and that helps keep you fully engaged for ~6-8 hours. There is lowlands, steep climbs, a dirt crater, alpine ascent, emerald and blue lakes, above-the-treeline scrub, steep descents, a lush forest, waterfall and stream. Highly recommended.

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Lauren Perucco reviewed Ruapehu Crater Lake
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 30, 2019
HikingOff trailRockyScrambleSnow

Tough to hike this now with the ski resort setup around it. To avoid snow, we had to navigate many rock scrambles. This is definitely on the high end of hard. Would have needed full snow equipment to make it beyond the gondola as of Nov 30. Probably is more reasonable further into the summer but we had to stop at the top of the gondola. Ski resort was still operating and they were seemingly not too thrilled we went out for the hike but they didn’t give us too much trouble. Only made it a few miles out before having to take the gondola back and I’m saying this as a decently well traveled and versed hiker.

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